This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
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Top Hats on Parade

12 January 2018

Before the parade passes by
I've gotta go and taste Saturday's high life

Before the parade passes by
I'm gotta get some life back into my life

I'm ready to move out in front
I've had enough of just passing by life

With the rest of them
With the best of them
I can hold my head up high

For I've got a goal again
I've got a drive again

I'm gonna feel my heart coming alive again
Before the parade passes by!

Look at that crowd up ahead
Listen and hear that brass harmony growing

Look at that crowd up ahead
Pardon me if my old spirit is showing

All of those lights over there
Seem to be telling me where I'm going

When the whistle blows
And the cymbals crash
And the sparklers light the sky

I'm gonna raise the roof
I'm gonna to carry on
Give me an old trombone
Give me an old baton
Before the parade passes by.

* * *

Lyrics from "Before the Parade Passes By"
by Jerry Herman featured in his 1964 musical
Hello Dolly!

This is a photo puzzle that I've not been able to solve.
There are no markings on the postcard and very few clues.

The men in top hats look like a fraternal society of some kind
that liked top hats, white gloves, and ceremonial spears.
wooden clapboard houses, dirt street, trees, and utility poles
resemble a typical American town from around 1910.
But the band leading the parade wear uniforms
with swallowtail shoulder epaulets that were worn
by British or German military bands.

However I don't think this parade was
in Britain or the United States.
My best guess is that they are somewhere in Canada,
during a warmish season sometime before 1914.
And I bet all those children followed the parade
as they set off down the street.

Because it's a good song
that everyone should get stuck in their ear
for the rest of the day,
here is Jerry Herman's tune as played
by the mass Canadian military bands and choirs
at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo 2009.

* * *

* * *

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where the streets are paved in grit and grime.


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